The Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority were behind many deadly terrorist attacks in Israel that killed 33 and wounded hundreds, several of them American citizens, between 2001 and 2004, a U.S. jury found Monday. The jury awarded $218.5 million in damages to the plaintiffs, comprised of the families of the victims.
The Palestinian Authority said it would appeal.
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“The charges that were made against us are baseless, ” Deputy Minister of Information Dr. Mahmoud Khalifa said in a statement.
“It’s about accountability. It’s about justice, ” attorney Kent Yalowitz, as he and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of the Israel-based Shurat HaDin Law Center, vowed to collect the damages from Palestinian Authority and PLO bank accounts, securities accounts, real estate and other property in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere, AP reported.
“Now, the PLO and the Palestinian Authority know there is a price” for supporting terrorism, Darshan-Leitner said.
The verdict will hamper the PA’s campaign for international recognition of Palestinian statehood, as well as their plans to sue Israel for war crimes in the international criminal court in the Hague.
The damages are a financial blow to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, on the same day the Israeli Electric Company has begun to turn off service to cities in the West Bank over a half a billion dollar in unpaid bills.
“The decision is a tragic disservice to the millions of Palestinians who have invested in the democratic process and the rule of law in order to seek justice and redress their grievances, and to the international community” in working toward a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Khalifa said.
Of course, not one word in that statement is even marginally consistent with reality.